The case of the dropped Honda
Mrs Y brought her 2001 Honda into our service facility to investigate an annoying oil leak. Seems her current mechanic couldn't resolve the issue after several attempts. Once the car was on the hoist the tech noticed the oil leak was at the axle seal where it mates to the transaxle. The axle was misaligned with the surface of the transaxle allowing a gap and the oil leak.
Further investigation lead to the discovery that the entire driveline was misaligned. We contacted the client and reported our findings.
Mrs. Y informed us that her previous shop had replace the engine assembly. During the install the car fell off the hoist. They assured her that the vehicle was fully servicable and repaired. Mrs Y paid their bill and drove off only to return several times for various issues, the last one being the oil leak.
We we're ask to fully inspect the car. Our finds lead to the fact that the car was bent, repaired poorly, etc.. In short it was a write-off
Mrs.Y asked the shop to refund her the funds she laid out for the engine swap. They refused. She sued.
We acted as the expert witness for Mrs. Y.
Not only did she get a total refund, the repairer had to to pay damages and costs.
Plus she got to keep her car!
The Case of the RUNAWAY HONDA
Mr S was referred to us by his insurance company. Seems during a winter storm Mr S lost control of his car and drove into the car in front of him. The vehicle then took off with the throttle stuck wide open, striking a wall. Although the insurance company was covering the repairs, Mr. S was convinced that the jammed accelerator caused the accident. I assume he was trying to protect himself from future issues with an at fault accident on his record.
We inspected the vehicle at the body shop where it was held. Inspection of the throttle assembly confirmed that the engine was running wide open. We requested that the vehicle be towed to our shop, plus we requested that we be allowed to dismantle the front of the vehicle.
We inspected the obvious, did the brakes function properly...yes they we working well. Next we removed the damaged front end parts.
I should mention that we take pictures as we work. Lots of pictures.
Bottom Line ...the throttle shaft was bent by the collision, there was no evidence of any jamming prior to the accident.
Actually once we removed the damaged parts the system worked properly.
We reported to MR S.who then removed his objection to the claim.
Bolts in the ENGINE
Contacted by a local "fast-lube" facility we were called in on a engine failure that ocured shortly after an oil change. The repair claimed that the engine failed due to material ingested while the engine. Upon inspection we agreed with the repairer. The open engine is actually the pictured on the home page. Notice the rough surface on pistons one and four. This damage was caused by a bolt entering the intake tract.
Inspection the size and material type we decided the part came from the air filter assembly.
We inspected the air filter assemble and discovered the threads mounting the filter
assembly to the manifold were stripped.
Why? the mounting hardware was over torqued. The tech had used an air wrench to install the filter.
The previous lube shop was at fault and settled the claim.
Rear End Collision
We were called in to investigate the mechanical fitness of of our client's 1969 Sedan after a serious rear-end collision.
The insurance company wanted to verify if there was any liability of the servicing dealer. The client claimed that the dealership did all his service due to the fact he was receiving oil changes for free, as long as he owned the car. It was assumed that the vehicle was in good mechanical condition and there must have been other mitigating factors for the collision.
We inspected the vehicle and found it criminally unsafe.
The body was rusted and soft. Any repairs done to the car were unprofessional and obviously not performed by the dealer. Several parts were purchased aftermarket and poorly installed.
We also found that during one of the maintenance events (not dealer performed) the vehicle was improperly jacked with a floor jack. Raising of the vehicle, compounded by the rusted and soft body caused the body to crush. The crushing panel also closed off the brake line mounted adjacent to the now crushed rocker panel. Result: the vehicle had effective brakes on only two wheels.
Questions still remained as to weather the dealer did the required oil changes and what they reported while the vehicle was in their shop.....